Defend the Valley

Defend the Valley : A Shenandoah Family in the Civil War

4 (18 ratings by Goodreads)

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 4 business days
When will my order arrive?


Located in a strategic position in the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester, Virginia witnessed the Civil War in a way unlike any other town in America. In Defend the Valley, the story of the war is told through the letters and private papers of the Bartons and Joneses, In gathering together her ancestors' papers, Margaretta Barton Colt has done far more than provide a record of the Civil War. She has brought it to life with astounding clarity through the voices of those who lived it. These two families sent eleven men into battle, most in the brigade led by Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. Culled from the private papers of twenty family members, the material represented here includes letters, diaries, and memoirs. The book benefits from the vivid recollections found in the soldiers first-hand descriptions of the battles, and the responses from the home front. The result is a fully-rounded picture of the daily struggle of the Civil War, and the passing of a way of life.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 464 pages
  • 158 x 229.6 x 26.7mm | 701.68g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0195132378
  • 9780195132373

Review quote

"Defend the Valley is a book that resonates with the richness of human experience....By honoring her family and retrieving her story, the author has given us a book that is both a pleasure to read and a saga to be shared. Defend the Valley instructs, enlightens and perhaps most of all, reminds us that great events always knock at the homes of families. This book is a splendid history lesson."-The Civil War News "An astonishingly vivid account of one family's experience of the Civil War."-American Heritage "For moving writing on the Civil War, one may turn profitably to Defend the Valley"-The Virginian-Pilot "Margaretta Barton Colt brings to life the courage, recklessness, heartbreak, and deprivation of the Valley Campaign and the battles to the east of the Blue Ridge. Whether one's sentiments lie or would have lain with the North or South, Defend the Valley is difficult to read without tears of sorrow....We come to know these people almost too well and suffer their deaths as we would those of dear friends."-The Commercial Appeal, Memphis,
TN "Through the poignancy of these letters, Defend the Valley rises above the many pedestrian narratives published in recent years....The result is a gem of a Civil War book."-Civil War "These letters are a treasure for Civil War buffs and a wonderfully human account of life in this tumultuous period."-The State, Columbia, SC "A fascinating history of two Southern families in the crucible of America's bloodiest war....The letters and memoirs provide a poignant account of the war's terrible toll on the South's middle class....Colt located wonderful accounts of how Southerners coped with the Union occupations of the lower Shenandoah Valley, morale on the home front in the face of adversity, and how the families recovered after the war....The book provides excellent insights into the
relationships of men and women in the 1860s, among families in general, and even among masters and slaves....Margaretta Barton Colt ensures that Randolph [Barton]'s story, and his brother Robert's, and those of dozen other kinfolk are not only remembered but treasured."-Maryland Historical
Society "Captures the emotions present in one of the principal battle arenas of Confederate Virginia. Most important, the work is such a huge compilation of letters, diaries, and reminiscences by family members that Defend the Valley will become a basic reference source for the Valley of Virginia during the Civil War years."-Richmond Times-Dispatch
show more

About Margaretta Barton Colt

Margaretta Barton Colt is a direct descendant of the Barton-Jones Clan. Since 1976, she has been coproprietor of The Military Bookman in New York City, and antiquarian bookstore specializing in military history. She was formerly a research and picture editor for Time, Inc., and American Heritage.
show more

Rating details

18 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 39% (7)
4 33% (6)
3 22% (4)
2 0% (0)
1 6% (1)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X